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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Stagg

Jerk Alert! Expensive Cars and How We Drive Them

Red, green, and yellow luxury cars lined up in showroom.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

What does the car you drive have to say about what kind of driver you are? According to a new study by the University of Nevada, quite a lot, actually.

The study, which focused on how often vehicles yielded to passengers, found that the more expensive the vehicle, the less likely the driver was to yield for pedestrians. As an article on CNN neatly summed it up: "the science is looking pretty unanimous on this one: Drivers of expensive cars are the worst."

"Drivers on a whole aren't all that great at stopping for pedestrians waiting at crosswalks. Of 461 cars that researchers examined, only 28 percent yielded. But the cost of the car was a significant predictor of driver yielding, with the odds that they'll stop decreasing by 3 percent per $1000 increase in the car's value."

As the article by CNN points out, this isn't the first time the connection between bad behaviour and expensive vehicles has been made. A recent study conducted in Finland found that men who drove expensive cars were more likely to be aggressive and argumentative behind the wheel.

This, of course, does not mean that all drivers of expensive vehicles are jerks, but it can tell us something important as pedestrians, which is that exercising caution should always be a precondition of sharing the roadway. As pedestrians, and as drivers, we cannot assume that others will behave safely around us, but we can take the necessary steps on our end to keep ourselves safe, things like looking both ways before crossing the road, giving drivers enough time to see us, etc. As for the jerks, let's all hope that studies like this will get them to change.


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